BNP has urged the Election Commission to deploy army in 12 municipalities in Dhaka, Sylhet and Chittagong divisions, fearing widespread vote rigging.
“We demand immediate army deployment in the municipalities as the government has spoiled the election environment by using the local administrations and making the police inactive,” BNP leader Nazrul Islam Khan said on Sunday.
He was talking to journalists at a press briefing at the party’s Naya Paltan central office.
The municipalities where BNP recommended army deployment are Dewanganj, Gazipur, Gopalpur and Nagarkanda under Dhaka division; Chhengarchar, Choumuhani, Kachua, Matlab, Rangunia, Rauzan and Teknaf under Chittagong division and Moulvibazar and Srimangal under Sylhet division.
Elections are scheduled to be held in the municipalities under Dhaka division on Monday, while in those under Sylhet and Chittagong divisions on Tuesday.
The Election Commission said army had already been deployed in a number of the municipalities where BNP sought troops.
Reacting to the chief election commissioner’s refusal to deploy army, Islam said, “We would not have demanded army if the reason behind it had been removed.”
The BNP leader feared that some centres, including Panchghariakandi Sadar Primary School, Ramzanbeg Government Primary School and Haji Subed Ali Non-government Primary School in Munshiganj municipality, could see violence.
Islam alleged that the ruling party was intimidating voters in different municipalities of Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet apart from threatening BNP-backed candidates and campaigners.
BNP standing committee member Gayeswar Chandra Roy, senior joint secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and joint secretary Ruhul Kabir Rizvi were, among others, preset at the press briefing.